June 29, 2015  
Volume IX, Number 26
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do not be afraid. Just have faith.

Catholic News Service Word To Life Reflection.
" But Jesus makes himself present in the midst of their suffering. He responds to their pleas for help with compassion, silences the crowds of naysayers, touches the afflicted ones, speaks words of healing, reassures their faith and restores them to health. By his actions he makes clear that God does not "rejoice in the destruction of the living." Read more.
Questions posed:
Have you ever become discouraged and hopeless while suffering an illness of body or spirit? How can you receive Christ's gifts of hope and healing through the church's sacraments?

He was amazed at their lack of faith.
"The message that comes through loudly in these readings is that the role of the prophet, the role of the person announcing the will of God, is a pretty thankless lot." Read more.
Question posed:
If God asked you to speak the truth in love to someone, how do you think you would handle it?
SAINTS
Tuesday, June 30-   Blessed Raymond Lull
Wednesday, July 1- Blessed Junipero Serra
Thursday, July 2-  St. Oliver Plunkett
Friday, July 3-  St. Thomas the Apostle

Canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin
Pope Francis approved on Saturday the decrees allowing for the canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus (of Lisieux)...Th e couple will be the first to be canonized together as husband and wife, giving testimony to their 'extraordinary witness of conjugal and familial spirituality', said Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Read more.
 
Tasks Of Catechesis
"Jesus formed his disciples by making known to them the various dimensions of the Kingdom of God.  He entrusted to them 'the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven' (Mt. 13:11); he taught them how to pray (Lk. 11:2); he opened his 'meek and humble heart' to them (Mt. 11:29); and he sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.  (Lk. 10:1)  The fundamental task of catechesis is to achieve the same objective: the formation of disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus instructed his disciples; he prayed with them; he showed them how to live; and he gave them his mission.

Christ's method of formation was accomplished by diverse yet interrelated tasks.  His example is the most fruitful inspiration for effective catechesis today because it is integral to formation in the Christian faith.  Catechesis must attend to each of these different dimensions of faith; each becomes a distinct yet complementary task. Faith must be known, celebrated, lived, and expressed in prayer.  So catechesis comprises six fundamental tasks, each of which is related to an aspect of faith in Christ.  All efforts in evangelization and catechesis should incorporate these tasks" National Directory for Catechesis (NDC) 59-62.

As an attempt to utilize the inculturation process outlined in the NDC, CL Weekly will attempt the discovery of the tasks of catechesis in relation to the modern world's movements.  "Inculturation involves listening to the culture of the people for an echo of the word of God.  It involves the discernment of the presence of authentic Gospel values or openness to authentic Gospel values in the culture" NDC 64.  
 
Supreme Court Decision 
On Same Sex Marriage:
Relationship to the Tasks of Catechesis.
Catechesis Promotes Knowledge of the Faith
At the same time, however, there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he stands above all things, and his rights and duties are universal and inviolable. Therefore, there must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter; the right to choose a state of life freely and to found a family, the right to education, to employment, to a good reputation, to respect, to appropriate information, to activity in accord with the upright norm of one's own conscience, to protection of privacy and rightful freedom even in matters religious.
Respecting Human Dignity

The commission of the Church to preach the Good News to all people in every land points to the fundamental dignity possessed by each person as created by God. God has created every human person out of love and wishes to grant him or her eternal life in the communion of the Trinity. All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected.

In keeping with this conviction, the Church teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of our society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred. "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs."

Those who would minister in the name of the Church must in no way contribute to such injustice. They should prayerfully examine their own hearts in order to discern any thoughts or feelings that might stand in need of purification. Those who minister are also called to growth in holiness. In fact, the work of spreading the Good News involves an ever-increasing love for those to whom one is ministering by calling them to the truth of Jesus Christ.

 

The purpose of this pastoral message is to reach out to parents trying to cope with the discovery of homosexuality in their adolescent or adult child. It urges families to draw upon the reservoirs of faith, hope, and love as they face uncharted futures. It asks them to recognize that the Church offers enormous spiritual resources to strengthen and support them at this moment in their family's life and in the days to come.

This message draws upon the  Catechism of the Catholic Church , the teachings of Pope John Paul II, and statements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of our own conference. This message is not a treatise on homosexuality. It is not a systematic presentation of the Church's moral teaching. It does not break any new ground theologically. Rather, relying on the Church's teaching, as well as our own pastoral experience, we intend to speak words of faith, hope, and love to parents who need the Church's loving presence at a time that may be one of the most challenging in their lives. We also hope this message will be helpful to priests and pastoral ministers who often are the first ones parents or their children approach with their struggles and anxieties.

In recent years we have tried to reach out to families in difficult circumstances. Our initiatives took the form of short statements, like this one, addressed to people who thought they were beyond the Church's circle of care.  Always Our Children  follows in the same tradition.

Catechesis Promotes a Knowledge of the Meaning of the Liturgy and the Sacraments

In November 2009 the U.S. Catholic Bishops approved a pastoral letter called "Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan." The letter presents the essential points of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural gift, as a sacrament, and as a public commitment between a man and a woman. It also discusses several contemporary challenges to marriage and how the Church addresses those challenges.  Read Pastoral Letter.


Catechesis Promotes Moral Formation in Jesus Christ
In light of today's United States Supreme Court decision to re-define marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman, it may be helpful for Catholics to pause and engage in some self-examination before we try to move forward in history.
FAITH
Have I assumed God has been absent in all this?
Have I neglected to pray for authentic marriage?
HOPE
Have I despaired of God's mercy?
Have I despaired of God's ultimate triumph?
Have I shared the truth of authentic marriage with others?
CHARITY
Have I wanted to force others to agree with me?
Have I listened openly to people that disagree with me?
Have I responded to them with kindness and gentleness?
Have I neglected to pray for people with same-sex attraction?
Have I neglected to pray for engaged and married couples?
Have I neglected to pray for children?
Catechesis Teaches the Christian How to Pray with Christ

God, You are our Creator.
You are good and Your mercy knows no bounds.
To You arises the praise of every creature.
O God, You have given us an inner law by which we must live.
To do Your will is our task.
To follow Your ways is to know peace of heart.
To You we offer our homage.
Guide us on all the paths we travel upon this earth.
Free us from all the evil tendencies which lead our hearts away from Your will.
Never allow us to stray from You.
O God, judge of all humankind, help us to be included among Your chosen ones on the last day.
O God, Author of peace and justice, give us true joy and authentic love, and a lasting solidarity among peoples.
Give us Your everlasting gifts. Amen!

May the God of mercy, the God of love, the God of peace bless each of you and  all the members of your families!

John Paul II

[The Pope Speaks 37/4, 1992, 213]

No Two Hearts Are On Fire With God In the Same

Joyce Rupp

No two hearts are on fire with God in the same way. We are all called to live this vibrant love of God in our own way, according to our own personality and temperament. In life's ups and downs, at times we will wonder if any fire remains in us. Because of our inner battles, we will at times resist the fire or fear its power. Yet, within us all, the fire of God continues to flicker even though we may not see its glow.

How do we keep the love of God aflame in us? We must stay close to the original flame of love, and draw near to the heat of God through daily prayer and through a continual yearning to be one with the divine presence. Each time we intentionally draw near to God, we light a candle in our heart.

~ from MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE? by Joyce Rupp
Catechesis Prepares the Christian to Live in Community and to Participate in the Life and Mission of the Church

"This moral debate must also include the way we treat one another -- especially those with whom we disagree.  In many respects the moral question is at least as consequential and weighty as the granting of this civil entitlement. The decision has offered all of us an opportunity to continue the vitally important dialogue of human encounter, especially between those of diametrically differing opinions regarding its outcome." 

*This reflection was written in 2013 in response to a SCOTUS ruling on DOMA, an act that sought to define and protect the institution of marriage.

 

"A friend of mine wrote me yesterday and asked if I could say something about how to speak to fellow Catholics and others about same sex marriage in light of yesterday's Supreme Court rulings.  This, of course, is one of the most divisive issues in our nation and in our Church.  It is very difficult for me personally to write about.  The reason for that is quite simple: there are many gay and lesbian persons who are very dear to me.  I love them and value them, like other friends and family members, more than words can say.  And, honestly, part of me wants to celebrate with them, at the very least their feeling of being honored and respected by the Court's decisions.  But I also believe that marriage is a natural institution that is ordered to the procreation of children and so requires a man and a woman.  This natural institution is prior to the state and as such cannot be redefined by the state or any of its powers.  I'm not going to argue that case here.

 

What I want to talk about is this: we are a Church who holds both of these things (the inherent dignity of every person and our obligation/opportunity to love them; and that sex and marriage have a fundamental relationship to the procreation of children).  Yes, most of us seem to give one priority over the other.  Many of us, in fact, are almost completely dismissive of one or the other.  And, what is worse, many of us are completely dismissive of our brothers and sisters who prioritize these two important ideas differently than we do.  I believe that just about all of us can do better at being community with those who carry these commitments differently than we do." 

Read complete article here.

 
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